Currently the most paying opportunities for teaching ESL exist in China, Korea, and Taiwan. I worked in Korea at a private language academy and found that the workload wasn't too heavy at 30 teaching hours a week, though some friends worked in the public school system with co-teachers and typically spent fewer hours in the classroom. A nice benefit to working in Korea is that housing and round-trip airfare are generally provided. I have heard that surfing is gaining popularity at Songjeong beach near the city of Busan on the south coast. Apparently there are regular waves and even a surf shop.
I also did a bit of research on Taiwan when I was applying to schools there and found that there is quite a surfing community there as well. Apparently there are quite a few waves to be had on the east and south coasts. The salary in Taiwan is comparable to Korea, but contracts typically don't offer all of the same housing and airfare bonuses as in Korea. I can't comment on the surf in China but the salaries, while lower, are still generous in light of the low cost of living. Most employers there do offer housing and flight reimbursement.
While your degree and native English speaker status alone may qualify you to work in many countries, a bit of TESOL/TESL/TEFL training would definitely give you an advantage over candidates who don't have it. The pricier CELTA or Trinity TESOL courses are typically more of a requirement for those who wish to teach ESL in English speaking countries. On the other hand, correspondence courses without a teaching practicum don’t properly prepare students for teaching abroad and many courses don’t meet the standards or the required in-class hours for international recognition. An in-class course that includes lesson planning, practice teaching and preparation for going abroad can be a definite advantage on your first day in the classroom.
I also lived in Nicaragua for a time and the waves there were both big and constant. If salary isn't a major concern for you there are definitely positions to be had in Central America. I've also heard good things about Indonesia.
Enjoy your teaching adventure, wherever it may take you!
Last edited by matter
on Sat Feb 26, 2011 3:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: commercial link removed